by Kate McCorkle
Sitting at a one-chair table—the one shoved into a dusty nook between decorative pillars—at the Borders’ café, I hoped I might not cry in public. At least not the snot-bubble sobbing that erupts when I’m alone. Walking the dog. Cleaning. In the car. At my desk. Maybe it would just be the repressive, misty-eyed weeping I manage for work or church or the grocery store. The fluttering dabs around the eye with a balled-up tissue, like my body is merely leaking.
by Matthew Fairchild
The Standard Model and M-Theory
No matter how big the object, everything can be broken down into the same elements, the ones on the periodic table we had to memorize in chemistry class. Those elements are in turn created by protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons are made up of quarks (up, down, strange, charm, top, bottom), leptons (electron, electron neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, tau neutrino), and bosons (photon, w, z, gluon, higgs, graviton). Quarks, leptons, and bosons are made up of vibrating strings attached to membranes. We know these as the most basic elements that create all matter and life in the universe. Continue reading
by Holly Karapetkova
In the 1980s you were a movie star in a small Eastern European country. You played a prince, an attendant lord, and other roles of note. We watch them on YouTube. “That’s me,” you say, though it really isn’t—not anymore. You have to point yourself out because none of us can recognize you, the muted color of 30 years passing. On screen you watch the war escalate. Continue reading
by John Coyne
I was seven or eight years old when I got so drunk at a family party that I ran out of our farm house, down to the barn, and attacked our big brown Swiss cow with a broom.
I don’t remember this act of animal cruelty, but the next morning, when I woke from a stupor, my mother—as well as my brothers and sisters—told me in detail how I had impishly sipped booze left in cans and glasses on the dining room table until I was so intoxicated my suppressed rage at one of our milking cows exploded into violence. Continue reading